Can I Get Mercury Poisoning From A Broken Thermometer?

What happens if you breathe in mercury vapor?

The inhalation of mercury vapour can produce harmful effects on the nervous, digestive and immune systems, lungs and kidneys, and may be fatal.

The inorganic salts of mercury are corrosive to the skin, eyes and gastrointestinal tract, and may induce kidney toxicity if ingested..

Which is better mercury thermometer or digital?

Digital thermometers provide fast results as opposed to mercury thermometers whose readings are slower to realize because you have to wait for the mercury to heat and then slowly rise to display the temperature. … Mercury thermometers are also designed to withstand boiling temperatures.

What do you do if you drop a mercury thermometer?

Slowly and carefully squeeze mercury onto a damp paper towel. Alternatively, use two pieces of cardboard paper to roll the mercury beads onto the paper towel or into the bag. Place the paper towel in a zip locking bag and secure. Make sure to label the bag as directed by your local health or fire department.

How long does Mercury stay in the body?

Mercury does not stay in the body forever. It takes about six months to a year to leave the bloodstream once exposure stops. Some researchers think mercury can permanently damage the nervous system in children.

How long does a mercury thermometer last?

A standard mercury thermometer can provide enough raw mercury (500 mg) for about 100 bulbs, says Greg Strouse, the head of NIST’s Temperature and Humidity team.) NIST has been pushing to phase out mercury since 2004, says Strouse.

What happens if you touch mercury from a broken thermometer?

Mercury is a very toxic or poisonous substance that people can be exposed to in several ways. If it is swallowed, like from a broken thermometer, it mostly passes through your body and very little is absorbed. If you touch it, a small amount may pass through your skin, but not usually enough to harm you.

How dangerous is a mercury spill from a thermometer?

The small silvery ball in a mercury thermometer can be dangerous if the glass breaks and the mercury is not cleaned up properly. The mercury will evaporate and can contaminate the surrounding air and become toxic to humans and wildlife. … There are several alternatives to mercury thermometers: digital thermometers.

How much mercury is in a thermometer?

A typical mercury thermometer contains approximately 0.7 grams of mercury (700 milligrams), but larger thermometers can contain as much as three grams. Both short term and long term exposure to mercury can cause serious health problems for humans and wildlife. How toxic is mercury?

Can you still use a mercury thermometer?

As of 2012, many mercury-in-glass thermometers are used in meteorology; however, they are becoming increasingly rare for other uses, as many countries banned them for medical use due to the toxicity of mercury. Some manufacturers use galinstan, a liquid alloy of gallium, indium, and tin, as a replacement for mercury.

Can Mercury make you go crazy?

Acute mercury exposure has given rise to psychotic reactions such as delirium, hallucinations, and suicidal tendency. Occupational exposure has resulted in erethism, with irritability, excitability, excessive shyness, and insomnia as the principal features of a broad-ranging functional disturbance.

Where are mercury thermometers banned?

While many people probably have them in their medicine cabinets, or on their walls, the retail sale of mercury thermometers has been banned or restricted in at least 18 states, including Washington, with more such legislation pending, according to the Interstate Mercury Education and Reduction Clearinghouse.

What do thermometers use instead of mercury?

Alcohol thermometerThe alcohol thermometer or spirit thermometer is an alternative to the mercury-in-glass thermometer and has similar functions. Unlike the mercury-in-glass thermometer, the contents of an alcohol thermometer are less toxic and will evaporate quickly.